The Four Pillars of BPM 7.5 Part Two: Governance
Krista Summitt 270003YAW6 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  ibmbpm governance bpm series bpm7.5 4pillars
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For the second installment in our series on the 4 Pillars of BPM 7.5, we have this post on the Governance pillar, contributed by Matt Sanchez, IBM Lead Architect, BPM Repository and Governance in Austin, TX
Attributes of a Successful BPM Program
Every organization is challenged with process management
problems on a daily basis. Typical
symptoms of unhealthy process management are: Inefficient working environments
that span systems, informal tasks and communications leading to inconsistent
prioritization, inconsistent or incomplete data flows between systems, and a general lack of control and visibility over business and system events.
As IT practitioners, we build systems to tackle these challenges, but at best we can only solve part of the problem. At the human level, work is not well controlled leading to inefficiencies and increased costs. Finally, there is no end-to-end visibility to the process itself – a process that spans humans and systems.
As an example, imagine the CEO walking into your office one day with a vision to grow the business by 100%. As the owner of your business unit you know that your organization is paralyzed to respond because your invoice reconciliation process is too manual and delays in resolving problems affect customer satisfaction. You realize that the unfortunately reality is that the cost to change is too prohibitive to ever really make progress.
How would you respond? Is there a method or discipline that can help you gain the visibility and control you need to meet the challenges your organization must tackle in order to gain the competitive advantage you need in the marketplace?
Enter Business Process Management (BPM).
BPM is such discipline that provides a layer of visibility and control over the processes in your organization. This layer automatically routes and prioritizes work, guides users through the decision processes, leverages existing systems and data, monitors for business events and initiates action. The end result is real-time visibility and process control. It sits between people and systems and manages processes across those participants. When a process changes, you can quickly implement that change and roll it out immediately. Successful BPM programs often find that they can reduce manual interactions by up to 80% and achieve faster issue resolution. Now imagine what happens when the CEO walks into your office – you have the tools and methods to efficiently implement changes in your business processes.
Common Pitfalls that Hinder BPM Programs
The promise of BPM is to enable a layer of visibility and control that sits between people and systems and provides an efficient and consistent method for managing business processes throughout their lifecycle. The very first BPM project in your organization will seem like a revolution in the way business processes are designed and run. Still, as time goes on, and BPM becomes broadly adopted in the organization, there are several common stumbling blocks that can stop a BPM program from reaching maturity dead in its tracks.
1. Managing Assets and Dependencies
Over time, there will be thousands of assets that will be created to support BPM. Assets can and will depend on other assets making dependency management a challenge. Without a system of record that understands not only the asset, but the semantics of the asset, reuse will not be possible and general disorganization will occur slowing the pace of change.
2. Complexity of the Process Lifecycle
Similarly, over time, 10s, 100s, and even 1000s of BPM applications/projects will appear. Not only that, but each project will have multiple versions, some of which will need to co-exist simultaneously supporting different groups of users. There will be multiple server environments that need to be managed and you need to track which applications/projects are deployed where.
3. Developer Productivity
As the number of projects grows, so will the number and size of the development teams. How will these teams collaborate without clobbering one another? Parallel development will be a given. Avoiding these pitfalls is crucial to the survival of your BPM program after the first few successes. In order to build a scalable program, you must be ready and enabled to deal with these challenges as they arrive.
Building BPM Governance into the Platform: IBM Process Center
The IBM Business Process Manager not only is designed to be the most easy to use and complete BPM platform in the market today, but also to meet the challenges that hinder a successful BPM program.
In order to achieve success with BPM on a large scale in your organization, you must address BPM governance early on. With the IBM Process Center, IBM has provided market-leading capabilities through a shared development platform that provides centralized deployment control and end-to-end governance over the BPM program. The IBM Process Center has three key areas of innovation that help you to manage complexity and provide governance:
1. Innovations for Managing Assets and Dependencies
2. Innovations for Developer Productivity
3. Innovations for Simplifying the Process Lifecycle
BPM governance is critical to overcoming the challenges that can hinder the success of a BPM program in your organization. The complexity of the process lifecycle, the growing library of BPM assets and dependencies, and the productivity of developers can all be addressed with solid governance capabilities built into the BPM platform itself. IBM Business Process Manager provides market-leading innovations that address BPM governance challenges making it the most powerful BPM platform on the planet and the best choice for building scalable BPM programs in your organization.
To learn more about IBM BPM 7.5, download the free whitepaper here.
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